David Coverdale (born September 22, 1951 in Saltburn-by-the-Sea, Cleveland, England) is a rock vocalist most famous for his work with the British hard rock band, Deep Purple, and his later band, Whitesnake.
Coverdale was largely unknown until he replaced Deep Purple vocalist Ian Gillan in 1973. His three-year tenure with Deep Purple ended in March 1976 due to issues within the band. Moving to Germany, he laid down a vocal track on a multi-artist project organized by Eddie Hardin, released by RCA Records as Wizard's Convention.
Unable to perform in England for contractual reasons, Coverdale then recorded vocals for both his solo albums in Germany while the backing tracks were laid down in London. The backing musicians who played on these albums were retained for touring purposes, and effectively became the original line-up of Whitesnake, Coverdale's personal group.
Coverdale remained with Whitesnake thereafter until their dissolution in 1994 when Geffen Records elected not to renew the contract. At that time, Coverdale worked with former Led Zeppelin guitarist Jimmy Page on the Coverdale-Page project.
Inevitably, another Whitesnake re-formation was around the corner. Whitesnake’s 1997 comeback album represented a return to Coverdale’s R & B heritage. As he told the press on its release, he had tired of the more cartoonish elements of Whitesnake’s image:
“I've had enough of the Tarzan impressions. I wanna sing. Less strain on the old Calvins.”
This direction was also pursued on Coverdale’s third solo album, Into the Light, although there was also the occasional lapse into hard rock bluster mode. Now settled in Lake Tahoe, Nevada, Coverdale looks set to remain a fixture in rock's middle-aged hierarchy.
In December 2002, Coverdale re-reformed Whitesnake for an American and European tour, with Tommy Aldridge on drums, Marco Mendoza (bass), Doug Aldrich (guitar), Reb Beach (guitar) and Timothy Drury (keyboards). In 2004-2005 saw Whitesnake embark on a tour of the USA, South America and Europe.